Thursday, October 4, 2007

Tomorrow (from the soundtrack to Annie)

My friend Amy sent the link to the video above - it seemed to provide the perfect counterpoint to my thoughts below.

I've not yet spoken of my middle child Robby, whose birthday is in December (the time is coming) - however, I'm very proud of all three of my children (19, soon-to-be 23, 26). They are kind, respectful, patient, funny, thoughtful and wise - I've raised them with The Kite Theory (learned during a seven-week parenting seminar when Sarah was in middle school) and The Golden Rule, and I think those two flexible tenets have provided a healthy balance of incremental freedom and empathetic connection. Of course, I've also absorbed much along the way, about role modeling and interpersonal relationships and expectations - I may have mentioned this before... but I love the line in Anne Tyler's Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant when one of the characters states there is no statute of limitations on motherhood (in a good way, Martha... :-)

I sometimes miss my children in the young and innocent phase (when they still thought I hung the moon... sigh) - the smell of baby powder, feeling little arms encircling my neck, hearing a sweet voice call my name are memories never to be forgotten. However, I'm proud and pleased of who they are now, and hope I can humbly take a bit of credit for a fraction of the in-constant-formation young adult - they need me less but they love me with more understanding...

If I hadn't already used Dar's The One Who Knows, it would be today's song - the "I'll take you to the mountains, I will take you to the sea" lyric perfectly illustrates the last two lines of the poem...

SONG: Tomorrow from the soundtrack to Annie

BOOK: The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis

POEM: Things You Didn't Put On Your Resumé by Joyce Sutphen

How often you got up in the middle of the night
when one of your children had a bad dream,

and sometimes you woke because you thought
you heard a cry but they were all sleeping,

so you stood in the moonlight just listening
to their breathing, and you didn't mention

that you were an expert at putting toothpaste
on tiny toothbrushes and bending down to wiggle

the toothbrush ten times on each tooth while
you sang the words to songs from Annie, and

who would suspect that you know the fingerings
to the songs in the first four books of the Suzuki

Violin Method and that you can do the voices
of Pooh and Piglet especially well, though

your absolute favorite thing to read out loud is
Bedtime for Frances and that you picked

up your way of reading it from Glynnis Johns,
and it is, now that you think of it, rather impressive

that you read all of Narnia and all of the Ring Trilogy
(and others too many to mention here) to them

before they went to bed and on the way out to
Yellowstone, which is another thing you don't put

on the resumé: how you took them to the ocean
and the mountains and brought them safely home.

QUOTE: "Becoming responsible adults is no longer a matter of whether children hang up their pajamas or put dirty towels in the hamper, but whether they care about themselves and others -- and whether they see everyday chores as related to how we treat this planet." ~ Eda LeShan

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